Helping to further the Federal Reserve’s interest rate normalization ambitions, the latest employment figures released on Friday gave the impression that US job creation was humming along. According to the latest nonfarm payroll figures, employment rose by 222,000 jobs during the month of June, helped in part by the higher revision of the May figure to 152,000. Nevertheless, overall unemployment ticked modestly higher despite better labor force participation. The FOMC Meeting Minutes released earlier in the week indicated the overall softening in inflation was not enough to prevent further efforts towards tightening monetary policy.
Contrasting with the modest rise in US unemployment was the comparable Canadian figure which surprisingly saw overall joblessness fall to 6.50% from 6.60% reported back in May. Apart from these major data points, the rest of the week was mostly quiet aside from the Reserve Bank of Australia interest rate decision which saw the key rate remain on hold at 1.50%. On the commodity front, gold prices fell just above $1207.00 per troy ounce before trending back towards $1213.00 after the US payrolls figure sent the US dollar surging higher. Oil ended the week lower as well despite falling inventories as surging US production hurt speculation that the energy glut is fading.